Laura and her eightenn year old sister, Emma, have to look after the whole family when her dad clears off. Their mum is very unwell and the girls have no one to turn to.


1. Illness

I was walking on a Sunday night alone, I had been sent by the sister to the shop. She was looking after my mum who had cancer. My sister was eighteen and she had to look after us all, when my dad had cleared off. I have eight brothers and sisters, and I am the youngest girl. My name is Laura and I am ten. My sister and I are the only girls and we have to look after mum twenty-four hours a day. I even had to drop out of school when her cancer got worse. We girls know that mum is dying but we are not allowed to tell anyone.


Everyday I cry and my brothers just laugh. It’s hard having to look after everyone. I wish I didn’t have to have such a hard life. We have very little money as nobody in our house works and we have no relations that are alive. Sometimes, my sister, Emma, sends me to the shop to tidy up at closing time. That’s why I am walking now! Mr Burcan, the owner is really helpful. He always pays me fifteen pounds after I finish cleaning. He also lets me take home a few supplies, to keep us all going. Mr Burcan calls round everyday to see Mum. I guess he is like our only friend.


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